Cold Canvassing – Your Ultimate Guide
Cold canvassing is a common phrase heard in business and sales circles; but what is it, and how does it work?
In this guide, you’ll learn what cold canvassing is, how it works, its drawbacks, and whether cold canvassing would be useful for your business or not.
Cold Canvassing – Your Ultimate Guide
What Is Cold Canvassing?
Cold canvassing is the act of going into a particular area, and then asking business owners or home owners questions to see whether they qualify for your offer or not.
It’s usually done door to door, and areas are usually marked out for specific salespeople to attend; that way, there are specific boundaries and perimeters for them to work in, giving you complete coverage of an area.
How Does It Work?
There are generally two types of sales prospecting methods.
Inbound prospecting is setting up systems in your business to drive leads to you or your business, and once set; usually works without having to trade time for money.
They consistent of landing pages or a website and promoting your business for leads to come to you (you can learn how to do this here).
Outbound sales prospecting methods are when you proactively go out into the market and try to turn potential opportunities into leads.
Cold canvassing is an outbound sales prospecting method.
It works by finding people within an allocated area who would be a good fit for your product or service, and then delegating those residential or commercial spaces to your sales team.
Your sales team will then speak to those people; door knock style and get face to face with your potential opportunities.
As it is face to face, there is a great opportunity here to quickly build rapport.
The Drawbacks With Cold Canvassing
There are generally two types of drawbacks with cold canvassing.
First of all, it is very time consuming, and can prevent your sales team from being able to speak with as many people as possible within their allocated time frame.
It takes a lot longer for people when cold canvassing, because they are meeting face to face, and then spending time going to the next place after their initial conversations.
Secondly – you aren’t necessarily meeting with people who are qualified.
We recommend up front that you only speak with people who would potentially benefit from your product or service, and not waste time who would be “could be’s”.
In the related article below, you’ll learn how to focus your attention on qualified people by using a sales targeting strategy.
Also, important to keep in mind- depending on the weather or suburb demographic, you may be putting your sales team at risk. Keep this in mind before starting your cold canvassing activities.
Related article: Sales Targeting Strategy – Your Complete Guide
Qualifying Potential Opportunities
When commencing your cold canvassing activities, you want to as previously mentioned ensure that you’re speaking with people who would qualify for your offer.
The way in which you could do this, is try to work out up front whom they should be speaking to.
This way, they won’t be wasting time with people who don’t qualify.
We recommend using an acronym called BANT.
BANT stands for:
- Time frame
Learn more about BANT by clicking the related article below.
Related article: BANT In Sales – How Does It Work?
How To Make Cold Canvassing Work For You / Cold Canvassing Tips
Cold canvassing can be effective if used correctly.
Many people use it incorrectly by knocking on doors; both commercial or residential, with the hope of making a sale there and then.
The issue with this though, as you need two key emotional drivers before someone will making a buying decision.
As they’ve just met you, it’s going to be a tough ask to gain their trust straight away.
That’s why we recommend using your cold canvassing strategy as a way to get intelligence and information and turn opportunities into actual qualified leads.
By asking a set of sales probing questions, your sales team can work out who qualifies, if they have interest in your product or service, and that they will benefit from it after they own it.
There are a series of sales probing questions we recommend your sales team uses in all their sales interactions.
See the article below to learn these in detail.
Related article: Sales Probing Questions – 20 x To Use Daily
Who Does Cold Canvassing Work For?
There are a number of industries in which cold canvassing can be quite useful. Generally, these are local businesses who serve people within a local demographic.
Below is a list of people who may benefit from cold canvassing activities:
Solar: Cold canvassing could work with sales people selling both residential, and commercially.
Security: Home or commercial security could benefit from the strategy
Home contractors: Whether it be gutter cleaning, roof salespeople, plumbers, painters or landscaping, there are potential cold canvassing opportunities here too.
Real estate: Some real estate agents (realtors) have found cold canvasing to be beneficial. Again; this depends on the demographic, and the type of weather too.
Mortgage brokers: Many mortgage brokers have found success with the strategy, as they can quickly find out a person’s interest rate, and whether they can or not help them get a better loan.
There of course are many other industries, however it would depend on whether trading time cold canvassing would be the best use of your time, versus return on investment.
What Do You Do With Qualified Leads?
Once you’ve qualified opportunities and turned them into leads; what do you do next?
We recommend following a step by step sales process, to convert those potential leads into satisfied buyers.
The 5% Institute teaches a system called The 5% Sales Blueprint, which is a step by step system to help salespeople and business owners close more sales consistently.
- Building rapport
- Setting a pre-frame
- Asking questions that find pain
- Learning about their outcomes
- Talking about budget, and cost implication
- Handling objections
- Asking for the sale
You can learn more about each of these sales process steps below.
Related article: The Sales Process – A Step By Step Guide
Cold canvassing may be beneficial for your business; however, it would depend on your business type, and evaluating whether it would be the best prospecting method due to the time involved.
It can be quite seasonal, and not to mention – there may be other methods that would be more suitable for your business needs.
In saying that; depending on your town or territory, it could be what you were just looking for.
In regard to sales training – if you would like to learn more about closing clients more consistently, check out our No Cost Sales Masterclass here.